Health tech funding snapshot—Capsule lands $200M, Optum Ventures joins $24M round in Vim and more

(Lia Shaked)

Digital pharmacy startups are rapidly disrupting the pharmacy sector and continue to land significant venture capital funding deals.

Pharmacy startup Capsule scored $200 million in a series C funding round led by venture capital firm TCV. Capsule’s existing investors Thrive Capital and Glade Brook Capital Partners also participated. The startup had previously raised $70 million and plans to expand outside of New York City to more large cities in the next 18 to 36 months, according to Bloomberg.

India-based digital pharmacy startup Digi-Prex is leveraging the popularity of WhatsApp to provide consumers with prescriptions and to help manage chronic diseases. The company secured $5.5 million in its seed round of funding, led by Khosla Ventures. Vedanta Capital, Y Combinator, Quiet Capital and SV Angel also joined the round. Patients can share prescriptions online or via Whatsapp, pay a subscription fee on a monthly basis and get access to discounted medicines delivered to their homes. 

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Mountain View, California-based NowRx also announced a third crowdfunding round on SeedInvest, receiving more than $500,000 in reservations in its first 24 hours, one of the fastest ramp-ups in SeedInvest’s history. The company is raising $20 million on a pre-money valuation of $65 million.

Here's a snapshot of other health IT funding deals over $5 million in September:

  • Primary care: VillageMD, a fast-growing operator of primary care clinics, landed $100 million in a series B funding round led with $75 million from Kinnevik AB. Previous investor Oak HC/FT and new investors Town Hall Ventures and Adams Street Partners also contributed. The company plans to use funding from the capital raised to expand its primary care footprint in existing and new markets and enhance docOS, its market-leading primary care platform. 
     
  • Diagnostic tests: Tel Aviv, Israel-based Healthy.io developed a platform to turn a smartphone camera into a clinical-grade medical device. The startup raised $60 million in a series C funding round led by Corner Ventures with participation by Joy Capital and previous investors Ansonia Holdings, Aleph and Samsung NEXT. The company recently received FDA clearance for its smartphone-based test to be used in the aid of diagnosing chronic kidney disease.
     
  • Drug discovery: Insilico Medicine, a startup that uses artificial intelligence technology for drug discovery, completed a $37 million funding round led by Qiming Venture Partners. Investors Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, Baidu Ventures, Pavilion Capital and BOLD Capital Partners also contributed to the funding round. Veralox Therapeutics, a small-molecule drug discovery and development firm, raised $5.4 million in seed funding. Investors include JDRF T1D Fund, Sanofi Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Sanofi, the Maryland Momentum Fund, the University of Vermont Health Network and TEDCO.
     
  • Behavioral health: Ginger, an on-demand behavioral healthcare company, secured $35 million in a series C funding round led by WP Global Partners, the company announced Sept. 4. Investors including City Light Capital, Nimble Ventures, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Khosla Ventures, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Kapor Capital also participated in the funding round. The San Francisco-based startup, which says it has built a "virtual behavioral healthcare system," has raised $63 million to date. 
     
  • Medical knowledge platform: Launched in 2014 as a study platform for medical students, Amboss has evolved into a medical learning platform for medical professionals. The company landed €30 million in series B funding co-led by Partech and Target Global, with participation from earlier investors Cherry Ventures, Wellington Partners and Holtzbrinck Digital.
     
  • IoT platform: BrightInsight, a digital health platform for biopharma and medical technology companies, secured a series A funding round of $25 million co-led by New Leaf Venture Partners and Eclipse Ventures. The company's internet of things platform is designed to enable regulated drug-device combinations, devices and software as medical devices to obtain and analyze data and deploy regulated recommendations and insights back to patients and providers.
     
  • Payer-provider collaboration: Vim, a startup developing a platform for health plan-provider collaboration, landed $24 million in series B funding co-led by Optum Ventures and Premera Blue Cross. The funding round was joined by earlier backers Great Point Ventures and Sequoia Capital. Vim will use the investment to fuel rapid expansion across new U.S. markets, and accelerate product development and hiring initiatives. The company, which launched in 2015, has raised $37 million to date. Vim's platform helps to match patients with top healthcare providers using a combination of online booking and referral coordination.
     
  • AI for cancer diagnosis: Kheiron developed machine learning software that aims to help radiologists detect cancer more accurately and earlier. The startup, founded in London in 2016, raised $22 million in a series A funding round led by Atomico, with participation from Greycroft, Connect Ventures, Hoxton Ventures and Exor Seeds. The company built breast cancer detection artificial intelligence software, called Mia, which serves as a “second reader” to help radiologists decide whether to recall a patient for further evaluation.
     
  • Digital assistant for doctors: Robin Healthcare developed an AI-enabled digital assistant for physicians aimed at freeing them from paperwork. The Berkeley, California-based startup landed $11.5 million in a series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Robin Healthcare has raised $15 million to date. Tom Gruber, the co-founder, chief technology officer and head of design for the team that created Siri, Apple's digital assistant, recently joined Robin as a formal adviser.
     
  • Concierge medicine service: Boston-based Firefly Health secured $10.2 million in a series A funding round led by F-Prime Capital Partners and Oak HC/FT. This brings its total funding to $14 million. The startup provides health navigation and concierge medicine services by providing primary care to patients through a mobile app and clinic visits. Previous investors included Athenahealth co-founder and former CEO Jonathan Bush, who has since joined the company as its executive chairman. The company plans to enter several new markets in 2020.
     
  • Precision medicine: Precision dosing platform InsightRx closed a $10 million series A funding round led by HealthX Ventures, with participation from Rock Health, OSF Healthcare, Leawood Venture Capital, Premier Inc. and earlier investor GreatPoint Ventures. Founded in 2015 out of the University of California, San Francisco, InsightRx is a software platform that leverages patient demographics, physiological characteristics, genomic data, drug concentrations and biomarkers to make sure that patients are getting the proper medication dosage. 
     
  • Clinical decision support: Mednition developed machine learning clinical decision support solution for emergency department clinicians. The startup landed $10 million in a series A round of funding led by healthcare private equity firm Concord Health Partners. Existing investor Wildcat Capital Management LLC, the family office of David Bonderman, co-founding partner of TPG Capital, also participated in the round. The machine learning platform is now in use at Adventist Health White Memorial in Los Angeles. 

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